Fruits and vegetables must be included in a horse’s well-balanced diet. But what about a common horse owners’ concern, “Can horses eat pineapple?
However, it’s a common misconception that horses can eat any type of fruit or vegetable. Some of them aren’t suitable for horses to consume. So when it comes to pineapple, do you think this tropical fruit is healthy for your pet horse?
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about feeding pineapple to your horse, as well as any concerns you should be aware of regarding the topic.
Can You Feed Pineapple to Your Horse?
Yes, when given in moderation, a few slices of pineapple are a harmless treat to give to your horse. However, there are a few potential risks to be aware of. We’ll get to them later in the article.
Do Horses Like Pineapples?
Yes, horses love pineapples. Pineapples are considered a sweet treat because of their high sugar content, and horses love to eat sweet food, such as fruits, candy, and sweet grains.
However, too many pineapples can cause harm to horses, so they shouldn’t be provided with them regularly.
Is Pineapple Healthy for Horses?
Yes, pineapple is a somewhat healthy option. It’s high in vitamins and minerals, which are beneficial to your horse’s health. For example, vitamin C plays an important role in your horse’s immune system. And vitamin B6 can aid in the physical and mental energization of your equine.
Additionally, pineapple is high in calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium, all of which are beneficial to your horse’s muscles, blood, and bones.
Also, pineapple contains Bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme that may aid in minimizing swelling caused by bug bites and mild wounds. In addition, Bromelain can help in the relaxation of muscles.
This tropical fruit also helps to purify the blood and functions as a diuretic, allowing your horse’s body to rid itself of extra fluids.
Like many fruits, pineapples are also high in fiber and antioxidants. The former is beneficial to your horse’s digestive tract, while the latter aids in the removal of dangerous pollutants from your horse’s system.
Potential Risks of Feeding Your Horse Pineapple
As we’ve mentioned, it’s a healthy food when given in moderation. However, there are a few potential risks to be aware of. They’re as follows:
Pineapples contain fiber, which aids in digestion, but an excess of the fruit leads to issues like diarrhea.
Moreover, they contain calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals are innocuous, but when consumed in excessive quantities, they can cause colic. Colic is a common digestive illness in horses.
Increases Blood Sugar Levels
Pineapple contains a high amount of sugar, which horses don’t require. In fact, horses need less sugar than humans but consume more sugar than humans do.
Although pineapple contains simple sugars like sucrose and fructose, they’re still not so good when consumed in excess. Thus, feeding too many pineapples to your equine can result in high sugar levels in the blood.
These high sugar levels may disrupt your horse’s overall health and cause an unnecessary weight gain to your pet horse.
Increases Muscular Contractions
Pineapple is also high in potassium. It should be noted that excessive potassium levels can cause greater muscle contraction, resulting in cramping, and can potentially have severe consequences on the heart.
Certain horses are more vulnerable to high potassium levels as they have hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP). This illness may appear in various forms; some horses may just exhibit muscular twitching, while others may exhibit significant muscle cramping and staggering. Also, some horses will fall and struggle to get back up.
So, horses having HYPP shouldn’t be fed pineapples.
Unripe Pineapple Is Dangerous
Because unripe pineapples can have toxic effects, feeding them to your horse could result in poisoning, which can be fatal. Furthermore, the juice from unripe pineapples can cause severe throat irritation.
Can Horses Eat Canned Pineapple?
Fresh fruit is always more nutrient-dense than cooked or stored fruit. Therefore, if you want your horse to benefit fully from the nutritional benefits of pineapple, feed it fresh fruit.
However, this doesn’t rule out the possibility of horses eating canned pineapple; it’s OK for horses to eat it.
Nevertheless, it’s frequently sold as syrup, which is harmful to horses. As a result, you should only feed canned pineapple to your horse if it isn’t preserved in syrup.
Keep in mind that it’s still heavy in sugar and should only be fed under the guidance of a veterinarian.
Also, canned pineapple contains minor levels of cyanide, which is poisonous. So, only small amounts of canned pineapple should be fed to horses to protect them from any harm.
How to Feed Pineapples to Your Horse?
Moderation is always the key. So, consider giving your horse a couple of slices twice weekly. In this way, you’ll make sure that your horse will only get the benefits of pineapples. Try not to feed your pet horse pineapple every day, even if it seems delicious to them. It’s your responsibility to control your horse’s diet.
Also, go for fresh rather than canned, as canned pineapples are frequently heated to kill bacteria, hence losing nutrition value.
Horses can be fed pineapple in a variety of ways. It can be fed raw if sliced into small parts. It’s also mixed into drinks, juices, and cooked dishes like oatmeal.
Precautions When Feeding
If your horse has never tasted pineapple before, you have to make sure that it’s completely safe for it. Just like any new food, start with small amounts and monitor your horse for the following 24 hours.
In case your horse reacts negatively after eating pineapples, you should cease feeding it right away. On the other hand, if it goes well, say welcome to a new favorite treat for your horse.
Remember that you need to contact a vet if your horse develops any symptoms after eating pineapples.
Furthermore, because pineapples are highly acidic, they may upset the stomachs of some horses that are sensitive to acidic diets. Therefore, pineapple isn’t a good choice for horses on special diets. It’s also not suitable for horses with a kidney illness. However, pineapple is safe to feed to pregnant and lactating mares and horses of all ages.
When feeding pineapple to your horse, it’s also important that you peel off the pineapple’s exterior skin well so that your horse won’t choke on it.
Moreover, horses should always have easy access to fresh water when eating pineapples. Plus, they should have access to clean, fresh grass every day; a horse’s diet should consist primarily of hay.
Also, keep in mind that pineapples shouldn’t replace other sources of forage in the diet. So make sure they’re just given occasionally as a treat. We don’t want to disrupt the horse’s balanced diet.
What Foods Do Horses Like?
Because horses are herbivores with a digestive mechanism that differs from humans, they have specific dietary requirements. In addition, their lengthy digestive tract necessitates a high-fiber diet taken in little quantities over time.
Rather than a few huge meals, horses consume many tiny ones. They actually spend most of their time eating.
And now, let’s have a look at a quick list of the foods that horses enjoy.
Horses enjoy eating lettuce, especially when it’s crisp and fresh. Lettuce is high in fiber and water and is easy to digest, making it a healthy snack.
Carrots are one of the most popular treats among horses. A simple carrot carries a major benefit to horses, as it contains vitamins that are vital to their health.
It’s a lovely and juicy treat for your horse. Oranges are a refreshing change of pace from the usual sweets. Try giving your horse the (washed) orange peels the next time you peel an orange for yourself; they’ll love it.
Bananas are a good source of potassium for horses and a fruit that they like to eat. They’re also a popular food for racehorses to eat because they provide an extra surge of energy. Plus, horses may eat bananas with the peel on since the whole fruit is good for their health.
However, take care not to feed it to horses with HYPP.
As you can see, horses love pineapples. However, if you’re considering giving your pet horse a piece of this tropical fruit, it should only be given as a special treat. If fed regularly, adverse effects are likely to happen.
It’s also important to contact your veterinarian before adding new food to your horse’s diet. And don’t hesitate to see your vet if your horse develops issues after providing them with new food.